A Synopsis Of This Morning's News... H/t to ChrisM my MP3Angel for supplying the audio files. «o»The situation involving Robert Bales, the Panjwaii shooter, has him currently 'safe' at Leavenworth with his lawyer visiting him to figure out how to approach his potential death penalty trial. Apparently he was drunk, and the Afghan government and army is claiming he WAS NOT alone, but that item is notoriously absent from Western reporting which focuses on HIS problems while the whole of Afghanistan is enraged.
Robert Fisk writing in the independent says "So What?" in regard to Bale's personal life.
Robert Fisk: Madness is not the reason for this massacre
I'm getting a bit tired of the "deranged" soldier story.
It was predictable, of course. The 38-year-old staff sergeant who massacred 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, near Kandahar this week had no sooner returned to base than the defence experts and the think-tank boys and girls announced that he was "deranged". Not an evil, wicked, mindless terrorist – which he would be, of course, if he had been an Afghan, especially a Taliban – but merely a guy who went crazy.
This was the same nonsense used to describe the murderous US soldiers who ran amok in the Iraqi town of Haditha. It was the same word used about Israeli soldier Baruch Goldstein who massacred 25 Palestinians in Hebron – something I pointed out in this paper only hours before the staff sergeant became suddenly "deranged" in Kandahar province.
"Apparently deranged", "probably deranged", journalists announced, a soldier who "might have suffered some kind of breakdown" (The Guardian), a "rogue US soldier" (Financial Times) whose "rampage" (The New York Times) was "doubtless [sic] perpetrated in an act of madness" (Le Figaro). Really? Are we supposed to believe this stuff? Surely, if he was entirely deranged, our staff sergeant would have killed 16 of his fellow Americans. He would have slaughtered his mates and then set fire to their bodies. But, no, he didn't kill Americans. He chose to kill Afghans. There was a choice involved. So why did he kill Afghans? We learned yesterday that the soldier had recently seen one of his mates with his legs blown off.
But so what?
The Afghan narrative has been curiously lobotomised – censored, even – by those who have been trying to explain this appalling massacre in Kandahar. They remembered the Koran burnings – when American troops in Bagram chucked Korans on a bonfire – and the deaths of six Nato soldiers, two of them Americans, which followed. But blow me down if they didn't forget – and this applies to every single report on the latest killings – a remarkable and highly significant statement from the US army's top commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, exactly 22 days ago. Indeed, it was so unusual a statement that I clipped the report of Allen's words from my morning paper and placed it inside my briefcase for future reference.
Allen told his men that "now is not the time for revenge for the deaths of two US soldiers killed in Thursday's riots"... [More @ The Independent UK]
Here's a view from the Arab world:
Afghanistan: The Children Of A Lesser God
by Roqayah on March 17, 2012
Staff Sgt Robert Bales, the American soldier allegedly behind the killing of 16 Afghan villagers in the sanctuary of their beds, most of them women and children, on March 11 is now on his way to the United States:
“An American soldier suspected of shooting 16 civilians in Afghanistan on Sunday is being moved to a military base in Kansas, US officials say. Kuwait confirms the combatant suspected in the Afghan killings has left the country after a stopover.
The soldier is expected to arrive at Fort Leavenworth on Friday afternoon, says his civilian attorney, John Henry Browne. According to Browne, his defendant could be tried at any major US garrison, but Afghanistan as an option is ruled out.”
There is little outrage in light of such a loathsome revelation and besides the theatrics which will surely envelope the trial there shall be little to no attention given to the victims, who will be again made to pay for their foreign dispositions. Their identities will once more numb the minds of millions.
Children Of A Lesser God
In Afghanistan the dead are made to die twice; first at the hands of a drove of “rogue” soldiers and later at the hands of those who see them as degenerates:
These rag-heads from Kandahar, these sand-niggers of South Asia, these camel-jockey’s and their offspring are inferior beings; they are the children of a lesser god. Let their corpses fill the streets and their impure blood soak the soles of our shoes, after-all what are they but video-game caricatures of the villains we dispose of with a single head-shot? Their first language is not English but instead an assortment of guttural verbal discharge, their attire is not Western and their mannerisms are brutish. They are unlike us and for this let us do away with them as we would any other foreign scourge, as we have done with those who came before them; another notch in our belt, another 100 points.
Staff Sgt Robert Bales, the sole accused in the massacre in Kandahar, Afghanistan, is now being bathed with talk of “combat stress symptoms — anxiety, depression, anger.” Despite the moistness of soil piled atop the graves filled with the bodies of scorched Afghan civilians the blood is being wiped away with premature concern for US Staff Sgt. Bales’ mental health. This story, we have heard before. These roles, they have been played before. And the indifferent reactions, we have witnessed before. [In Full @ The Frustrated Arab]
«o»Saturday was the six month anniversary of #OccupyWallStreet and people attempted to retake Zuccotti Square only to be countered by massive amounts of police violence, clubbing and gassing. There is now-viral footage a medic attempting to assist a downed 'protester' being beaten severely and bounces off of various fixed objects. The New York City Council has noted that undue use of force and at least five council members have signed a statement of disgust, and are demanding an investigation.
Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez
Sunday, March 18, 2012 at 7:25pm
We, the undersigned elected officials, are deeply concerned with the excessive level of force employed by the NYPD on the night of March 17th, both in evicting peaceful demonstrators from Zuccotti Park and in arresting those who marched following the eviction.
From its inception six months ago, the Occupy Wall Street movement has consistently proven itself to be guilty of little other than bringing together tens of thousands of people to exuberantly exercise their Constitutional freedom to assemble and protest economic and social inequality in America. Yet, throughout the history of this non-violent movement, we have seen the NYPD using violent physical force against demonstrators who were threatening neither life nor property.
It is a sad reality that the events of March 17th come as little surprise to anyone familiar with the department’s relationship to Occupy Wall Street’s Constitutionally-protected activities. Some of us personally witnessed police officers beating demonstrators without cause, and photographic and video evidence points to further unprovoked assaults by NYPD officers, both in Zuccotti Park and in the march which followed. These images will continue to disturb residents of this city in the days to come.
As elected officials tasked with overseeing the NYPD and the public safety of New Yorkers, we are forced to say: enough is enough. We recognize the invaluable work that the department has done to protect our communities and prevent terrorism, but we cannot stand by as we become internationally renowned for the disregard our city shows for the freedom of assembly. As the New York Times editorial board put it today, while the NYPD has been given expanded investigative powers in the fight against terrorism, “the department should not interpret that as a license to run roughshod over the Constitution.” [In Full]
«o»In Illinois, where two former governors are in prison at the same time, the primary shapes up with Romney and Santorum pretty even in the race but fraud in the vote should be expected. Mind you this is the political environment Barack Obama cut his chops in and it's worth noting that a black man rising to the top of the Chicago political machine only indicates one thing... He's more corrupt than the most corrupt white person who might have risen to the top of that RICO Act poster child of a city, and he is your president. Think on that when he makes his campaign 'promises'.
«o»Congress is out for the next few days but will get a quorum together to pass the transportation act. Nothing else will get done until next week.
In OTHER News: The extended forcast for this #AmericanSpring
There is nothing wrong with your television set.
Do not attempt to adjust the picture.
We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure.
You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to —
The #Occupy Limits!
This is Razer Raygun saying 'Happy Motoring America...' Enjoy it while you can.
And remember... Capitalism has a gun at your head every moment you're alive: